If you're a long-time reader of my blog you'll know that I have a very dim view of the coverage of the Dakar rally provided to us by Versus (TV channel) here in America. I complained bitterly to their programming department last year and I think I might not have been the only one. The three biggest problems I had were
- the presenter was useless and had no need of a studio or screen time.
- they kept doing idiotic "local interest" stories with a woman reporter who didn't know Nasser al-Attiyah from Marc Coma. Frankly I'm not sure she even knew where in the world she was.
- they spent ages on the cars and motorbikes but the trucks and quad-bikes were an afterthought to the point where on some days they were not even mentioned.
Fast forward to 2012. The presenter, studio, and camera time were gone. I think the voiceover was even someone different. The "local interest" bimbette was ditched. And shock, horror, they covered trucks, independents and quad-bikes this year too. It was even in proper HD instead of the upscaled-and-cropped nonsense they peddled last year. It's still not the best coverage there is but it can definitely be summed up thusly: it sucks a lot less than it has done in recent years. I wonder if this is because Versus is now part of NBC Universal?
But on to the talk of the rally, the irrepressibly vulgar Robby Gordon. Following a ban because of technical irregularities with his engine, he won Saturday's stage and then told all the other teams to kiss his ass. He went to the MINI team and told them MINIs were for girls, and then told them to kiss his ass too. Unsportsmanlike? Absolutely. Showing some humility? No. He's made even more enemies this year. Go home Robby. You're an arrogant, unpleasant and you don't bring anything to the game. We don't want you in the Dakar rally - we prefer true sportsmen who help others out, play by the rules and show humility where it's due. Dakar doesn't need your boorish petulant childlike character.